Contiki Tours

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IndustryTravel, tourism
Founded1962; 61 years ago (1962) in New Zealand
FounderJohn Anderson
HeadquartersAnaheim, California
Area served
ParentThe Travel Corporation

Contiki is a New Zealand-based tour company that caters to 18 to 35-year-olds, offering over 350 different tours in over 75 countries in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.[1] It is a subsidiary of The Travel Corporation. Its tours historically had a reputation for partying;[2][3] however, it also operates wellness trips culturally immersive experiences that focus less on alcohol, which are more popular with Generation Z.[4]

The company owns lodging facilities in Europe, including the Chateau De Cruix, a 16th century castle in the Beaujolais wine region, and the Gasthof Schoneck in the Austrian Tyrol.

The name "Contiki" comes from the portmanteau 'Con' from the word 'Continent' and 'Tiki'; from the Māori referring to the first man, often symbolised as a pendant known as hei-tiki. It can also be attributed to the New Zealand slang 'Tiki-tour' describing taking a longer route to a destination in order to explore.[5]


In 1962, when New Zealander John Anderson was alone and without much money he devised a plan so that he would not have to travel alone and could see Europe for free. He put a deposit on a minibus, gathered a group of people to travel with, and spent 12 weeks exploring Europe with his group. At the end of the trip, he unsuccessfully tried to sell the minibus. As a result, he decided to promote his Europe trip again, and this time he was able to fit two trips into the summer season. The first tours were booked by 19- to 29-year-olds, starting the tradition of Contiki Holidays being for youth travellers.[6]


In September 2011, a 23-year old Australian woman was found dead on a tour in Italy after falling ill.[7]

In December 2016, one of the company's vans went off a cliff on the way to a surf beach in the Gili Islands, killing one passenger and injuring two others.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Contiki Reviews and Tours". TourRadar.
  2. ^ a b "New Zealand's love affair with Contiki tours". Stuff. December 10, 2016.
  3. ^ Burnie, Alexandra (April 7, 2014). "What really happens on a Contiki tour?". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016.
  4. ^ Spinks, Rosie (November 19, 2019). "Travel's Moment of Clarity: Sober Tourism Is a Real Business". Skift.
  5. ^ "15 Kiwi slang words: A chocka tiki tour in jandals". The New Zealand Herald. March 20, 2014.
  6. ^ Anderson, John (2010). Only Two Seats Left: The Incredible Contiki Story. ISBN 978-0-646-51588-5.
  7. ^ Kwek, Glenda (September 30, 2011). "Aussie backpacker found dead on Contiki tour". The Sydney Morning Herald.